Oscars 2013 Winners

Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, Christoph Waltz

It was an exciting year for movies, which made for an equally exciting awards season that came to an end with Sunday’s Academy Awards. Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane hosted the show with great laughs and amazing self-awareness, giving the show a new and fresh feeling that was much-needed by the producers of the show.

A run-down of the night’s winners…

BEST PICTURE: Argo 

With the movie picking up pretty much all the precursors leading up to the Oscars, it was nearly a sure thing that it would win the big prize. That, however, didn’t make it any less exciting to see it actually win and getting to hear producer/director/actor Ben Affleck’s incredibly touching speech. And can you believe that it’s been nearly 15 years since Affleck and Matt Damon won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Good Will Hunting? He has come such a long way.

ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln 

One of the few locks to win, Daniel Day-Lewis became the first actor to win 3 Oscars in the category. Though I myself could not watch Lincoln in its entirety (I’m just not the right demographic for it), I have to admit that he put in an incredible performance. I suppose there’s something to be said about being really careful in choosing the right roles in the right films.

ACTRESS: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

When I had made my initial comments upon hearing the nominees, I had thought the race would come down to Jessica Chastain and Naomi Watts. Of course at the time, I had yet to see Silver Linings. Leading right up to the show, I still believed that it was a really tight race, but I was really happy about Lawrence’s win. For 22, Lawrence really continues to impress us all with just how real she seems and she handled herself wonderfully after her fall up the stairs to collect her award.

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

It was anybody’s guess who would win the award, amongst a group of former winners. In the end, Waltz came out on top for yet another Tarentino role that seemed made for him.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

There was no doubt that Hathaway wasn’t going to win. There’s really nothing else to say about it.

DIRECTOR: Ang Lee, Life of Pi

With Ben Affleck absolutely snubbed in the category, the race ultimately came down to Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg, both great directors. While some believed that Spielberg would add a 3rd Oscar to his collection, I had the sense that Lee would win in the end. Everyone kept on talking about how Lee was able to make a movie based on a book that was deemed unfilmable. If filming the impossible doesn’t get you a win, I don’t what would.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Quentin Tarentino, Django Unchained

For some time, it seemed that Mark Boal’s script for Zero Dark Thirty would win, but having won the award for his The Hurt Locker script just three years ago (against Tarentino’s script for Inglourious Basterds, no less) and continued controversy over the story and the facts, Boal’s chances of winning were diminishing. Tarentino’s penchant for original stories ultimately gave him a win – his first since winning for Pulp Fiction.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Chris Terrio, Argo

With the swell of support for Argo, Terrio’s script based on a Wired magazine article and Tony Mendez’s book “The Master of Disguise” was clearly the favourite to win against David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook script and Tony Kushner’s script for Lincoln.

ORIGINAL SONG: “Skyfall” by Adele and Paul Epworth, Skyfall

It’s Adele. Was there really any doubt that she wouldn’t win?

ORIGINAL SCORE: Mychael Danna, Life of Pi

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Amour

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Brave

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Rick Carter and Jim Erickson, Lincoln

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi

COSTUME DESIGN: Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina

FILM EDITING: William Goldberg, Argo

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Searching for Sugar Man

DOCUMENTARY SHORT: Inocente

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING: Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell, Les Miserables

SOUND MIXING: Andy Nelson, Mark Patterson, and Simon Hayes, Les Miserables

SOUND EDITING: (TIE) Per Hallberg & Karen Baker Landers, Skyfall; Paul N.J. Ottosson, Zero Dark Thirty

VISUAL EFFECTS: Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott, Life of Pi

ANIMATED SHORT FILM: Paperman

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: Curfew

Once again, with the great amount of movies in 2012, it was nice to see that wealth was spread, and not just one movie swept. Despite the expected long running time, the overall show was well-produced and provided some great moments. Here’s to hoping that 2013 will provide another great pool of movies by which audiences and critics alike will enjoy.

In the meantime, what were your thoughts on the show? Happy with the winners? How did Seth MacFarlane do as host? Since MacFarlane has already stated that his hosting gig was a one-time thing, who should helm the show next year?

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2011 Oscar Winners

This year’s Oscar races ended up being quite predictable, but it didn’t stop the show from continuing on its attempts at being not boring.

THE WINNERS (in order of appearance)

Best Art Direction: Alice In Wonderland, Robert Stromberg & Karen O’Hara

Best Cinematography: Inception, Wally Pfister

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, The Fighter – Some people were questioning whether Leo would still get support after her self-promoted “For Your Consideration” ads, but there was really no need to question it. Leo had won pretty all of the precursors leading up to the Oscars, so there was really no reason to doubt that she’d take it here too. Also, Leo’s f-bomb (which went uncensored on CTV) was awesome. I don’t get why people were making a big fuss about it. It’s not like you’ve never heard the word before. It slipped out, big whoop.

Best Animated Short: The Lost Things, Shaun Tan & Andrew Ruhemann

Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3 – Duh. This was a no brainer.

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network, Aaron Sorkin – This was also a no-brainer. I’ve said it before, but Sorkin’s script was a wonderful piece of work.

Best Original Screenplay: The King’s Speech, David Seidler – This win just felt like it was playing up the fact that TKS and TSN were the frontrunners to win Best Picture. Honestly, I was hoping Nolan would win for his Inception script. I mean really, you couldn’t get any more original than Inception last year.

Best Foreign Language Film: In A Better World (Denmark)

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter – Some said that Geoffrey Rush could’ve won, due to a TKS sweep, but again, this category was pretty much a done deal for Bale.

Best Original Score: The Social Network, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – So happy they won. Completely deserved.

Best Sound Mixing: Inception, Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo & Ed Novick

Best Sound Editing: Inception, Richard King

Best Makeup: The Wolfman, Rick Baker & Dave Elsey

Best Costume Design: Alice in Wonderland, Colleen Atwood

Best Documentary Short: Strangers No More, Karen Goodman & Kirk Simon

Best Live-Action Short: God of Love, Luke Matheny

Best Documentary: Inside Job, Charles Ferguson & Audrey Marrs

Best Visual Effects: Inception, Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley & Peter Bebb – It seriously would’ve been a travesty if Inception did not win in this category.

Best Editing: The Social Network, Angus Wall & Kirk Baxter

Best Song: “We Belong Together,” Toy Story 3, Randy Newman – Wasn’t really pulling for any one song to win. They were all kind of meh to me. Highlight during the performances though was definitely Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi performing.

Best Director: Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech – I was still holding out hope that Fincer would win this Oscar after losing the DGA, and from what I’ve read around the blogosphere, many people thought the same thing. But once Hooper won, I knew it was a done deal for TKS to win Best Picture.

Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan – Could it really have been anyone else?

Best Actor: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech – Firth was far and away a lock to win, you would’ve been stupid to bet against him.

Best Picture: The King’s Speech – I knew it was going to be TKS, but up until the last second, I was still holding out hope for TSN to win. Don’t get me wrong, TKS was a good movie, but I just absolutely loved TSN. What bugged me was the nominee montage, with all the movie clips “scored” to TKS’ climactic speech. It made it seem like there was bias towards TKS and pretty much said that TKS won without even officially announcing it.

Now, as for the show itself, I gotta say, I enjoyed watching it. I really don’t get all the hate and harsh words for this year’s telecast at all. For the Academy to bring in James Franco & Anne Hathaway was a risk. James seemed at times to be out of it, but you could not hate on Anne for her enthusiasm. Lots of people complained how Anne was constantly hooting and hollering about each presenter, but give me a break. She’s still a young actress, who may not have met a lot of these stars, so of course she’s gonna admire and give respect to these actors/actresses/directors LIKE ANY FAN WOULD. Sure bringing out Billy Crystal might not have been the greatest idea – it made Franco and Hathaway look far inferior in their hosting abilities – but these younger hosts gave it their best with the material they were given and I commend them for that. Also, no matter what happened, people were going to call the show boring because it’s the Oscars, but don’t blame it on the hosts. They do what they can to keep the show moving at a good pace and that’s what they did. Honestly, at no point in the show did I think how tediously long the show is, and I’m pretty sure that has a lot to do with our hosts and the presenters’ charm + banter.

But again, this is all just my opinion.

Valentine’s Day – The Movie

So went to go see Valentine’s Day tonight and well, it wasn’t a complete epic failure. Actually, I quite enjoyed watching it. On the outset, this movie can be seen as the epitome of chick flicks, in that its all about love on the day of love. When you go into the movie, you kinda just have to take it as it is and not be jaded by the idea of it being a chick flick. Even though it is.

There were some good parts to the movie. Anne Hathaway and Topher Grace’s “storyline” was probably the best, especially with Anne’s character because she was a little unique. Of course, this being a Garry Marshall film, we have the usual suspects who show up in big and small parts: like I mentioned Anne Hathaway, then Julia Roberts, Hector Elizondo, Larry Miller, Kathleen Marshall. In the end credits, they showed bloopers and there was a nice line said by Julia Roberts, referencing Pretty Woman.

It was actually also kind of funny to think about how the actors connect to each other professionally, in real life. Besides the Garry Marshall connections, of course. I kind of forgot about it for a second, maybe because it’s been a while, but Ashton Kutcher and Topher Grace are both in the movie, and they obviously were in That 70s Show together. Then we have Jennifer Garner and Bradley Cooper who were both in Alias (still love that show!); too bad they didn’t have any scenes together. Bradley was also in a Broadway play, Three Days of Rain, with Julia Roberts. Jessica Biel and Jamie Foxx co-starred in the movie Stealth. Patrick Dempsey and Eric Dane are both still employed and co-star in Grey’s Anatomy.

The movie obviously still had its flaws. Being the fact that it essentially is just a reason to get a lot of actors together into one movie, watching the movie, the usual suspension of disbelief wasn’t there. I couldn’t connect that well to the characters in the movie because I kept on thinking, “Oh look! It’s Ashton Kutcher! Jessica Alba! Taylor Lautner!” etc. I kept on thinking about them as actors, not actors portraying characters. And I guess along those lines, I was totally not convinced with Bradley Cooper’s and Eric Dane’s characters towards the end. I mean, *SPOILER ALERT* who saw that coming?! They are way too good looking to even pretend to be gay. Also, Patrick Dempsey playing a doctor? Really? I kept thinking “McDreamy! For shame!” And Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner were kind of annoying. Some (actually quite a bit) of the stuff going on in the movie was cliche and/or you could totally spot it from a mile away.

Really, Valentine’s Day is a ‘fluff’ movie. It’s a pleasant watch when you’re bored or when you need a ‘pick-me-up’ and just want to watch something to take your mind off things. For a better ensemble movie based around a holiday, I’d rather go with Love Actually.